Life has been so good, but oh! so busy lately! I am to the point of not even knowing where to start on updates for the blog, since I've been doing such a poor job of keeping it updated weekly. SO, I decided to do what came natural in our current lifestyle (the crazy-beautiful one we have), and that's just telling you things as they come to mind -- possibly in random order -- but all about our life. Think of it as a collage of our life...little bits and pieces that together make up where we are currently...
Since, mmmmm...., Octoberish life has been in turbo speed! I actually thought things would slow down in/around the Christmas holidays, and was actually looking forward to a little break, but thus far, life is still crazy-beautiful!
Today we're finishing up our week of winter revival at church with Dr. Tom Ferrell -- AWESOME! He has been such a challenge to me each night, and though we're all "running on fumes (or maybe an overload of caffeine)", we've survived our long days/nights and made it to each of the services. God has used Dr. Ferrell to lead many to Him this week, Praise the Lord!
Though revival started this week, extra excitement arrived in our family last Sunday (8th), when Katie went to the alter with Mark (she does this typically when one of us goes down to pray). But this time, she started praying on her own, and asked God to save her and to help her do better obeying. We talked with her throughout the week, trying to be sure that she really understood what it meant to be saved, and she has been excited and ready to tell the world about her decision ever since! Praise God!! I am so thankful for God giving us such a wonderful FREE gift of salvation that is simple enough for even a child to understand and accept. We're praying with Katie that God will grow her and use her in magnificent ways for His glory! And, Katie is already telling Austin all about Jesus dying for his sins, and how he can be saved and go to heaven. He does still have some growing to do to actually understand what she's explaining to him, but it's a blessing to see her already sharing God's love with others.
Homeschooling has its good days and bad days lately. Katie reminds me daily that she despises writing (of any kind -- we've tried just about everything)...and I've found myself getting a little frustrated lately because of her laziness in many school areas. Instead of reading a word that she knows, she'll just pick a random word that may start with the same letter and just guess. And, she's suddenly "forgotten" her teen and twenty numbers, constantly telling me that 13 is 33 and other random things that she knew so well only a few months ago. I've had to work much harder with her to pay attention and do her work lately, which has given Austin less structured learning time and more alone playtime (not my plans!). Katie occasionally mentions how she thinks school would be better, and though I know better, I must admit that it does sound tempting on these hard days...
Mark has been assistant coaching one of the local varsity girls basketball teams this season, which has been great for him! He is a very patient teacher (whether its teaching about computers, math, basketball, etc.), and loves basketball, which makes for a great assistant for the girls! I have really enjoyed him having this opportunity, though I'd be lying if I didn't say that it made for long days for me with the kids. It's temporary (as is all sports), and it's worth it.
The kids have been in gymnastics since October, and they've loved it! Two weeks ago, however, we changed their gymnastics groups. There were some things at the original gymnastics group that I wasn't thrilled about, and I didn't feel that they had been working with or challenging the kids with very much at all. Our new group and teachers are amazing! The kids have already been challenged and learned more in two weeks than they did in 4 months! It's amazing to see how much they can improve in just in one hours' time, when the right instruction and attention to detail is given to each child. I hope to remember my camera this next week and take a few pictures for you guys to see them "in action".
I've been SLOWLY getting the house decorated the way that more describes our family style and taste. I'm really close to finishing the living room's make-over, and I can't wait to show it to you when it's complete. One "main" piece for the living room was purchased at Christmas in Mobile, and I'm supposed to be bringing it home in just a couple of weeks when we make our next trip down. SO EXCITED to show you what it is...it was "IT" as far as accents went for me and Mark. ;-)
Austin is growing like a weed...and talking more and more like a country boy! Though it's adorably cute and funny for us right now, I can see that I will have my work cut out for me to help him NOT sound like a redneck boy! He's all about trucks, tractors, monster trucks, and hunting DEER with his Pawpaw. He tells me constantly about him wanting to grow up and get a gun so he can shoot a deer...but only AFTER he lets Katie "shoot" one with her camera ;-) She's turning into my little photography mini-me, and I love it!
Though I'm sure I have lots left to update, I think your probably beyond tired of these updates for now, so I'll save the rest for some REAL posts WITH pictures VERY VERY VERY soon....I promise. O:-)